Celeb: Tatiana Maslany, the Canadian actress who plays nearly a dozen characters on BBC America’s “Orphan Black” series about a cabal of human clones.
Cause: A “bill of rights” in every state for survivors of sexual assault which, among other things, protects their rape kits from being destroyed.
Scene: Surviving on fumes, Maslany arrived at Funny or Die’s Washington office on Wednesday night fresh from wrapping “Orphan Black’s” final season. She had just hopped off a plane and was working on zero sleep, but the hardest working woman in show business was determined to be in the District for the premiere of the PSA she stars in that supports Rise, the advocacy group pushing for new legislation for sexual assault survivors.
Wait, can the enormous backlog of rape kits be funny? Obviously the answer is no, but somehow Maslany and the Funny or Die team make it work with an ’80s-inspired infomercial for the handy dandy “sexual assault survivor utility belt,” which comes in “pink, blue, or scream.” According to the PSA, it’s “the second best thing to meaningful legislation.”
In front of a packed room of 20-somethings sipping on free beer and noshing on mini tacos, Maslany, dressed in pink sneakers and a Rise T-shirt, explained why she got involved after meeting the organization’s founder, Amanda Nguyen, only a few months ago.
“I think there are a lot of us out there who want to do something and don’t think they have the right to,” said Maslany.
“We got to do a jokey thing, but we all felt so passionately because it was actually going to say something important, and you rarely get to do that as an artist.”